Choosing Root Canal Therapy To Keep A Natural Smile
Much has been said and written about root canal therapy. Strangely though even in light of all the accurate facts available online and offline today, root canal still remains one of the most misconceived and misunderstood dental procedures. For example, it is often thought that the procedure is extremely painful. This is of course, not true. When done by a professional and with the use of local anesthetic as well as proper sedation, the process is pain-free. Even in cases where a patient complains of pain, it is important to note that the pain felt comes from the infection, not canal therapy. In short, canal therapy never causes pain. In fact, it alleviates it.
What Does The Procedure Entail?
‘Root canal’ refers to the natural cavity located at the center of your tooth. It has a soft area referred to as the pulp chamber. Your tooth’s nerves lie within the chamber. That explains why the area is extremely sensitive to touch, heat and cold. Once infected, pain becomes inevitable. Note that a tooth’s nerve is not extremely vital to the general health and wellness of your tooth once it has grown outside the gum. The nerve’s only function is sensory – that is it provides the sensation of hot or cold. Its absence or presence will not in any way affect the normal functions of your tooth.
Who Needs Root Canal Therapy?
Your tooth’s tissue or pulp can get damaged. It can then break down, making a perfect ground for bacteria to thrive and multiply inside the chamber. This can easily lead to abscessed tooth. Abscess in this case refers to a puss filled pocket which forms at the very end of the root of the affected tooth. Once infection spreads past the roots, an abscess becomes inevitable.
How Long Does it Take?
Like other advanced dental procedures, root canal therapy is not a one day procedure. It starts with examinations and x-rays before your dentist decides how the affected tooth should be treated. The affected area must be kept dry and saliva free using a rubber dam. Your dentist will then drill an access hole into the tooth. The hole is vital since the decayed nerve, the bacteria and other debris will be removed through it. Root canal files will be used to clean canal alongside sodium or water which you will use to flush away debris.
What To Expect After The Procedure
Expect your teeth to feel sensitive after root canal therapy. This happens because of natural tissue inflammation. It happens especially if there was infection of pain before the procedure. The sensitivity should not worry out it usually lasts for just a day. It can also be treated using over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen.
Are There Alternatives?
After examining your condition, your dentist may recommend other alternatives like a dental bridge or even an implant. A removable partial denture is also a good alternative. All these alternatives can restore chewing function and at the same time, prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Unfortunately, these alternatives are more expensive than root canal therapy. They are also time consuming and more often than not, they call for additional dental procedures to supporting tissues and adjacent teeth.